They live their lives swimming against the current, darting from eddies and seams to feed on crayfish, insects and baitfish. Shoal bass are one of the five black bass species in Florida. Small individuals have along their sides several vertical, dark blotches that fade somewhat with age. The shoal bass is becoming increasingly uncommon in the Apalachicola and Chipola Rivers because so few shoals exist and competition with non-native spotted bass has increased. Pelvic fins may have a cream colored leading edge with dark spots. The fish was caught October 23, 1977, in the Apalachicola River, Florida. Movement and habitat use of Shoal Bass Micropterus cataractae in two Chattahoochee River tributaries @inproceedings{Cottrell2018MovementAH, title={Movement and habitat use of Shoal Bass Micropterus cataractae in two Chattahoochee River … The red color of eyes associates this species with the redeye and Suwannee bass at first glance. There are no known subspecies of the shoal bass. The shoal bass (Micropterus cataractae) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. Home range of Shoal Bass ranged from 0.7 to 36.2 . The shoal bass Micropterus cataractae has been listed as a species of special conservation concern by the American Fisheries Society and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Unlike largemouth bass (M. salmoides), spotted bass (M. punctulatus), and other widely distributed black bass species, shoal bass … Some of the most robust Shoal Bass numbers are found in a 6.5-mile section between the Peacock Bridge and Johnny Boy boat ramp. They prefer a spawning temperature of 64 to 79 °F (18 to 26 °C). As a sport fish, specific bag and size limit regulations apply, and you can register a qualifying catch as part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's "Big Catch" program. Only found in the Chattahoochee River drainage in southwest Georgia and the Apalachicola River in Florida, with its primary habitat being Georgia’s Flint River, the Shoal Bass has only been known as an independent species since 1999. Because these fishes are naturally sympatric, they may exhibit resource partitioning to reduce interspecific inter- Shoal bass caught and released by Matthew Lofton, Official Web Site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, © 2021 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 64 N. Union Street, Suite 468 - Montgomery, Alabama 36130, Physically Disabled Hunting and Fishing Trail. Five pound shoal bass are considered trophies, but fish above seven pounds are caught each year. Whereas redeye bass have teeth on the tongue, shoal bass do not. Conversely, anglers are urged to keep all spotted bass caught on the Flint River because of its competition with and potential for hybridizing with the shoal bass. ADULT SIZE:  The only fish we kept were three redbreasts and five white bass that went home to the frying pan. This bass was a shoal bass, but originally reported as the Apalachicola form of redeye bass. The belly is creamy or white and wavy lines may appear slightly above the white belly on the sides. Best Fishing Bets : Shoal bass, redbreast sunfish, channel catfish and flathead catfish: Upper Flint River Fishing Tips: Shoal Bass are considered the signature species of the river and current size structure of the population indicates good fishing for the next couple of years. Some have been known to reach more than eight pounds. However, it is more closely related morphologically to the spotted bass. Whereas redeye bass have teeth on the tongue, shoal bass do not. Shoal bass are primarily found among river shoals (shallow, fast moving riffles and runs containing limestone) but larger shoal bass can often be found in the deeper pools containing limestone formations above and below the shoals. It is also known in the Chattahoochee river drainage; and is most plentiful in the relatively undammed Flint River of Georgia, as well as lakes such as Blackshear and West Point. ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION:  DISTRIBUTION:  Shoal bass are also popular targets for fly fishers, who find them easy to access in their preferred river environments. Three diagonal black lines radiate along the side of the head looking like war paint. We describe seasonal movement, habitat use, and home range of 23 shoal bass fitted with radiotelemetry transmitters in Little Uchee Creek, Alabama. Adult shoal bass are olive green on the back and white on the venter. In this area, the trout regulations dictate what type of lures you can use to fish for anything in the river. Fluvial fishes face increased imperilment from anthropogenic activities, but the specific factors contributing most to range declines are often poorly understood. The native range of the shoal bass stretches from southeast Alabama into northwest Florida and Georgia. It is also often confused with the smallmouth bass, due to its faint vertical stripes along the side of its body. The dorsal, caudal and anal fins are dark olive green to grayish black. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 42(2):80-114. The world record shoal bass was 8 pounds, 12 ounces according to the International Game Fish Association. Shoal bass have experienced population declines throughout much of its native range, particularly within the Chattahoochee River basin due to extensive dam construction that has impounded large amounts of shoal habitat, but substantial and stable populations occur throughout the Flint River basin (Williams and Burgess, 1999; Sammons et al., 2015). 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